The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 811th meeting held on 22 November 2018, adopted the following decision on the activities of the AU High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) for Sudan and South Sudan and the Horn of Africa:


1.    Takes note of the briefings made by the Chairperson of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), H.E Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa, and Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, on the activities of the AUHIP, namely, the situations in Sudan, South Sudan, the relationship between Sudan and South Sudan, as well as the Horn of Africa;

2.    Recalls its previous decisions on the activities of the AUHIP, in particular the Assembly decision Assembly/AU/Dec.472 (XX) adopted at 20th  Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union of 27-28 January 2013, the PSC communiques [PSC/AHG/COMM/2.(CCCXCVII)] and [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCL)] adopted at 397th and 750th meetings, held on 23 September 2013 and 6 February 2018, respectively, which called for the need to promote a regional and holistic approach to the challenges of peace, security, stability and development in the Horn of Africa, in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD);

3.    Welcomes the recent positive developments in the Horn of African region, particularly the normalization of the relations between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the State of Eritrea, and between the Republic of Djibouti and the State of Eritrea. Council also welcomes the signing in September 2018 of the Revitalized-Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS), under the facilitation of IGAD and the Government of Sudan, which has led, among other things, to an improvement in relations between Sudan and South Sudan. Furthermore, Council welcomes, in particular, the decision of the UN Security Council 2444 (2018) to lift the sanctions against the State of Eritrea in response to these positive developments in the region;  

4.    Commends the members of the AUHIP, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, H.E Abdulsalami Abubakar and H.E. Ramtane Lamamra, and their support team for their diligent discharge of its broad mandate conferred by Council to assist Sudan and South Sudan to address their challenges relating to conflict and democratic transformation, as well as in the promotion of peace and security in the Horn of Africa. Council also commends the Chair of IGAD, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, for his support to the efforts of the Panel. Council also expresses its appreciation to the United Nations and all other partners for their continuous efforts extended to the activities of the AUHIP and to the countries of the Horn of Africa;

5.    Further commends the Government of Sudan for the progress made in addressing the challenges in the country and urges the Government of Sudan and the other Sudanese interlocutors to engage and cooperate with the Panel in its efforts to re-energise the Roadmap process. In this regard, Council further urges the Parties, particularly the Government of Sudan, to ensure and sustain an environment conducive for the opposition and all Sudanese to participate freely and effectively in all of the stages of the national elections of 2020 and the constitution-making process;  

6.    Appeals to the Government of Sudan and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and Sudan Liberation Movement/Army-Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) to energise their engagement with the UNAMID, with the Panel and the State of Qatar, in order to find a comprehensive solution to the conflict in Darfur, on the basis of the Darfur Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD), and in the context of the Roadmap Agreement;

7.    Welcomes the continuing renewal by the Sudanese Parties of the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities that they have unilaterally declared in Sudan, and urges the Parties to build upon these decisions by finalising formal agreements for durable cessation of hostilities and complete final security and political negotiations in the context of the Roadmap process. In this regard, Council calls upon the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army-Abdul Wahid (SLMA/Abdul Wahid) similarly to declare a cessation of hostilities and urgently to join the political process seeking to end permanently the conflict in Darfur;

8.    Commends the Transitional Government of South Sudan and all parties to conflict in the country for their commitments to finding lasting solution to the conflict and the signing of the R-ARCSS. Council welcomes once again the signing of the Revitalized Agreement for the resolution of the conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) by the members of the AU Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan as Guarantors and invites all the Guarantors of the Agreement and other stakeholders to assist the people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace. Council urges the parties to the R-ARCSS to maintain their commitment to peace by cooperating with each other in the implementation of the Agreement;
9.    Council welcomes the assistance that the Republic of South Sudan is extending, in support of the Panel, in engaging the Sudanese parties as they seek resolution of the conflicts in Darfur and the Two Areas and urges the parties therefore to engage diligently in order to reach credible, just and lasting agreements to resolve the conflicts;

10.    Encourages the Panel to continue its engagement, in close collaboration with other AU mechanisms, to complement the efforts of IGAD, in support to the democratic transformation of South Sudan and the vital task of nation building, especially through implementation of the processes envisaged by the R-ARCSS;    

11.    Urges the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to continue to implement their obligations  under the Cooperation Agreement (2012), particularly, the implementation of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), the demarcation of the international boundary and the completion of the negotiations on the disputed and claimed areas, and requests the AUHIP to intensify its engagement with the Parties to encourage timely implementation of those commitments;  

12.    Calls upon the Presidents of Sudan and South Sudan to re-energise their engagement in cooperation with the Panel to address the Final Status of the Abyei Area and encourages the leadership of the two States, and the two Communities of the Ngok Dinka and Misseriya to engage each other to continue to contribute towards addressing the Final Status of the Abyei Area in a manner that will ensure the stability of the Abyei Area. In this regard, Council urges the two States to engage each other and mandate their representatives in Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) to discuss and take decisions on the establishment of the Abyei Area interim institutions, in accordance with the Agreement on Temporary Administrative and Security Arrangements for the Abyei Area of June 2011;

13.    Welcomes the bilateral engagement between Djibouti and Eritrea and calls on the two countries to continue engaging towards finding solutions to the issue of missing soldiers and the border between the two countries, in line with the Resolution 2444 (2018), and as part of the efforts towards the rapid normalization of their relations, in the context of the efforts for peace, security, stability and reconciliation in the Horn of Africa;

14.    Reiterates its request to the Panel to intensify its engagements within the region, in pursuit of a holistic approach to the linked strategic issues of peace, security and development in the Horn of Africa, and therefore to promote and sustain multilateral partnerships between the AU, IGAD, UN and the inter-state organizations of the Arabian Peninsula, on behalf of the Commission of the African Union, in full consultation with African Union Chairperson, the Commissioner for Peace and Security and the Chairperson of IGAD;

15.    Welcomes the holistic approach adopted by the Panel in the implementation of this mandate, which includes the convening of the agreed conference on peace, security, stability, cooperation and development in the Horn of Africa (CPHA), aimed at achieving consensus on a holistic approach to the challenges facing the region. Council further welcomes the Panel’s intention to extend participation in the CPHA to the States of the Red Sea area, the Arabian Peninsula and other concerned international stakeholders and requests the Panel to continue its consultations with all relevant regional and international stakeholders in organizing that conference;

16.    Requests the AUHIP to continue the implementation of its Plan of Action, including the engagement of the Region and the Arabian Peninsula states, and the conduct further research and consultation to ensure that its proposals towards a comprehensive and inclusive approach of the complex dynamics in the Horn are firmly grounded in credible analysis which will inform the exposition of an genuinely African perspective on the challenges of the Horn. In this context, Council requests the Panel to report to Council on a quarterly basis on progress made, with a comprehensive report after the convening of the CPHA;

17.    Further requests the Chairperson and the Commission to take the necessary steps to mobilize financial and other necessary support, in order to enable the AUHIP to more effectively implement its mandate;

18.    Decides to renew the mandate of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan, for a period of twelve (12) months, from 31 December 2018;

19.    Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by Limi Mohammed

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